Australian store implements $5 cover charge to combat showrooming

By on March 28, 2013, 11:30 AM

Here’s an interesting approach to try and curb showrooming: charge customers $5 for looking around in your store. That’s exactly what one specialty foods store in Brisbane, Australia, is doing to try and stop people from just “looking around” according to a post on Reddit.

Matt Brownell from Daily Finance said the policy has to be the most misguided strategy to deal with showrooming. He sympathizes that it must be difficult to have people use your store to get hands-on time with a product they have no plans on buying there but imposing a cover charge is hardly the way to go.

There’s no denying that showrooming – using a retail store to look at an item in person before ultimately ordering it online – is a real concern for retailers. The act has forced multiple brick and mortar stores to close down shop and is making others reconsider policies to try and keep customers coming through the doors.

Some retailers have launched exclusive in-store brands to attract buyers while others have implemented price-matching policies to better compete with online offerings. Assuming this is legit, one has to question whether or not the store has tried some of these other well-established methods. Furthermore, if they offer products not available anywhere else then how could someone use the store to showroom and ultimately buy elsewhere?

The sign says the $5 fee will be deducted when goods are purchased. All I can really say is, good luck enforcing this policy!

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